Volume 19 Number 98
                       Produced: Fri Jun  9  0:04:55 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Joe Goldstein]
Cosmetics on Shabbat
         [Eliyahu Teitz]
Cosmetics on shabbat
         [Laurie Solomon]
Crowded Camp in the Midbar
         [Mechael Kanovsky]
Facing Jerusalem
         [Carolyn Lanzkron]
Hebrew Grammar with names
         [Chaim Wasserman]
Hillel Disagreeing With Shammai
         [Moishe Kimelman]
Index of Names for HaTekufa Gedolah
         [Dave Curwin]
Saying Hallel with a Bracha
         [Lon Eisenberg]
Sex Change operations
         [Heather Luntz]
Statues of People
         [Seth Ness]


From: Joe Goldstein <vip0280@...>
Date: Thu, 01 Jun 95 16:35:51 
Subject: Cosmetics

in response to Ncoom Gilbar in Volume 19 Number 81,                            

>Cosmetics stem from an attempt to cover oneself up, to present oneself        
>as other than one actually is or looks. Except for exceptional cases of       
>disease or deformity, the urge usually comes from a Western                   
>dissatisfaction with oneself, a desire to look more like HER.                 

   The Gemmorah (in Kesubos or Nedorim, if I remember correctly) says
when Rebbi Yishmael was Niftar, Passed away, The jewish girls had a
special KINAH, a type of chant when mourning someone who passsed away,
for him.  The reason, Because Rebbi Yishamael used to apply makeup to
women to help them look better and more appealing to their husbands or
prospective suitors.  He used to say, "Jewish girls are intrinsically
beautiful, it is only the Golus that makes them ugly"

There are many references in Chazal to different kinds of make up,
KICHUL ANAYIM for example, and other kinds of beatifying oneself. (The
Mishna in KAYLIM(?) discusses a "Choker" (necklace) The Rav (Reb Ovadia
of Bartinuro) explains women used to wear these tight fitting necklaces
(Hence the term "Chokers") to seem fatter than they were to be more

We know the KIYOR in the MISHKON was made from the mirrors the jewish
women used to beautify themselves for their husbands so that the men
should desire their wives and procreate.

  In RUS, (Ruth) Naomi tells Rus, before she goes down to the field to
get Boaz to marry her, Wash yourslf, annoint yourself with oils
(Perfumed I assume) and dress in Shabbos clothes. (Chapter 3 Posuk 3) To
be pretty for BOAZ. (NOTE RASHI explains wash yourself from your former
idolatry, Annoint yourself with Mitzvos, and dress in Shabbos
clothes. He is pointing out the spiritual aspects alluded to by the
physical preperations.)

   There are many more places where Chazal discusses a woman making
herself beautiful.  There is NOTHING WRONG WITH IT! A woman SHOULD look

If the only redeeming factor a woman has is her beauty, that is very
sad.  If all a man sees in his wife is her physical beauty, That is
tragic! However, with everything else 2 people see in each other they
should also look find each other pleasing to look at!  (I am sure there
are readers that will ask, "why is there nothing about the man looking
good for his spouse?" and the answer may be a women does not care AS
MUCH about her husbands look as the husband cares about his wife's
looks. There are many sources for that too.)

    "Western dissatisfaction"? I doubt it. It is just out normal desire
to better oneself. Hopefully inside as well as outside!

Have a good Yom Tov.                                                           

Yosey (Joe) Goldstein                                                          


From: <EDTeitz@...> (Eliyahu Teitz)
Date: Tue, 6 Jun 1995 13:45:45 -0400
Subject: Cosmetics on Shabbat

> might one wnat to consider the MEANING of cosmetics, and 
> whether they perhaps have no place at all on Shabat?   Cosmetics 
> stem from an attempt to cover oneself up, to present oneself as 
> other than one actually is or looks.  Except for exceptional cases 
> of disease or deformity, the urge usually comes from a Western 
> dissatisfaction with oneself, a desire to look more like HER. 

I think that the notion of cosmetics and beautifying oneself is very
much in the Jewish spirit.  Ezra on his return to Israel from Babylonian
exile decreed that door to door cosmetic salesmen do not fall under the
rules of territorial encroachment ( hasagat g'vul ), and can sell even
on someone else's turf.  The idea was to allow the women of the Jewish
nation as much opportunity to beautify themselves so that their husbands
will be pleased.


From: Laurie Solomon <0002557272@...>
Date: Tue, 6 Jun 95 11:18 EST
Subject: RE: Cosmetics on shabbat

Ncoom Gilbar writes:
>might one want to consider the MEANING of cosmetics, and whether they
>perhaps have no place at all on Shabat?
> Cosmetics stem from an attempt to cover oneself up, to present oneself as
>other than one actually is or looks.  Except for exceptional cases of disease 
>or deformity, the urge usually comes from a Western dissatisfaction with
>oneself, a desire to look more like HER.

In part, I agree.  Western civilization certainly has put a lot of
pressure on women to look like a fashion model, versus their natural
selves (figure,facial characteristics, hair, etc.).

However, the idea of makeup and making oneself a bit more attractive was
around long before Western civilization.  In fact, it was the jewish
women in Mitzrayim who kept up their appearances and made themselves
beautiful for their husbands, even when they were at their depths of
slavery, thus continuing the jewish line.  In fact, the women received
high merit for this act, as their mirrors, made of bronze (or was it
brass) were used to form the washing stand outside the beis hamikdosh--
the first thing seen by all.

Yes, you can stretch many halachos and do things on Shabbos that are
halachically OK, but not really in the spirit of Shabbos.  However, I
feel that you can keep Shabbos, and actually honor Shabbos by makeing
oneself a bit more attractive or presentable.  It can add to one's oneg
(enjoyment) and to Shalom Bayis(peace in the home).  I'm not saying all
women should or would want to use Shabbos makeup, but it should be
considered an option.  Another example is the use of deoderant, which
given halachic guidelines (for example, not a solid) this is
advantageous to apply--particularly during the hot summer, versus being
uncomfortable with one's self and others...Shabbos is not meant to be a
torture chamber, it is meant to be pleasurable.

Laurie Cohen


From: <KANOVSKY@...> (Mechael Kanovsky)
Date: Thu, 08 Jun 1995 14:13:28 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Crowded Camp in the Midbar

In regard to the crowded camp in the midbar, Rashi on the verse "mah
tovu o'halecha ya'akov .." (how good are your camps oh Israel) says that
Bilam saw the rows of tents and that the entrance to one tent was facing
the back of the tent in front of it, thus giving them privacy. Therefore
he said "mah tovu etc." From here you can see that they were placed like
row houses so in essence they were a bit crowded. 


From: <clkl@...> (Carolyn Lanzkron)
Date: Thu, 8 Jun 1995 14:24:07 -0400
Subject: Facing Jerusalem

When, during public davening, is it necessary to face Jerusalem?  



From: <Chaimwass@...> (Chaim Wasserman)
Date: Thu, 8 Jun 1995 12:08:31 -0400
Subject: Hebrew Grammar with names

Mike Turkel wanted to know why we say THE Rambam etc. but not THE Rashi.
While there is no good grammatical reason for this, I believe the answer
can be found in what form the sefarim appeared. Always the Rambam's
decisions were printed into a seperate volume, so one could say to a
student or chavrusa, for instance, "Go bring me a (or the) Rambam"
referring to the volume not the person.

As for Brisker Rav as opposed to Rav Soloveichik, that is because
Brisker Rav is a title: The Rav from Brisk, with the suffix "er" in
German and Yiddish indicating the place. The Berliner Rav is not Rabbi
Berlin but the Rav of Berlin. Obviously, in time, these designations
become family names. (Another such example is Freifeld where that family
tree shows the original name being von Freifeld (from Freifeld), a
German town near the Polish border.)

But when do people in the Yeshiva-world worry about Grammar, anyway?
What do you want good Torah or good grammar? (Thank G-d the Rambam is
not around these days to disqualify the davening, k'rias haTorah and
shiurim of the overwhelming numbers of Ashkenazi b'nai Toirah and
talmiday chachomim.

One final note. Rav Pam in one of his weekly shiurim on parashas hashavuah
gave a brilliant discourse on the necessity for a ben-Torah knowing dikduk.
If anyone is interested I can find the exact number of the Torah Tape
cassette and if you understand Yiddish you can get that tape for from Torah
Tapes, Inc, Brooklyn NY for a mere $1.00.
IMHO that tape is worthy of translation into English for the masses who have
no longer any working knopwledge of Yiddish.

chaim wasserman


From: <kimel@...> (Moishe Kimelman)
Date: Thu, 8 Jun 1995 23:23:20 +1000
Subject: Hillel Disagreeing With Shammai

In # 93 Micha Berger wrote:

>You MUST distinguish between the arguments of Beis Hillil and Beis
>Shammai, with those of Hillel and Shammai. The teachers only disagreed
>three times, all of them on dirabbanan's (Rabbinic legislation).

I have seen this statement quoted before on a number of occasions, but in 
fact - as stated in Yerushalmi Chagigah 2:2 (daf 10b in the standard 
efition) - there are four disputes between Hillel and Shammai.  The three 
quoted at the beginning of tractate Eduyos (which may be the reason behind 
the statement that there were only three disputes), and the dispute in the 
mishnah in Chagigah concerning the permissibility of being somech 
("leaning") on the sacrifice on Yomtov.



From: Dave Curwin <6524dcurw@...>
Date: Thu, 08 Jun 1995 22:40:24 EDT
Subject: Index of Names for HaTekufa Gedolah

In the 1972 edition of HaTekufa Gedolah by Rav Menachem Kasher, on page
5 (the page number is not given, but can be determined by the table of
contents), there is a list given of the Rabbis mentioned in this book
and where. On the bottom of the page, there is a note that says that
this list is only partial, and a full list will appear, b'eh, in the
"chelek hasheni (second part?)".  Does anyone know if this "chelek
hasheni", or the full list of Rabbis, was ever printed?

David Curwin		With wife Toby, Shaliach to Boston, MA
904 Centre St.          List Owner of B-AKIVA on Jerusalem One
Newton, MA 02159                   <6524dcurw@...>
617 527 0977          Why are we here? "L'hafitz Tora V'Avoda"


From: Lon Eisenberg <eisenbrg@...>
Date: Thu, 8 Jun 1995 07:23:35 +0000
Subject: Saying Hallel with a Bracha

I believe what Dov Ettner said is not correct (at least based on my

I believe that those Sepharedim who make the berakha "ligmor et haHallel" for
full Hallel say NO berakha for half Hallel (and never use the berakha "likroh
et haHallel").

Lon Eisenberg   Motorola Israel, Ltd.  Phone:+972 3 5659578 Fax:+972 3 5658205


From: Heather Luntz <luntz@...>
Date: Thu, 8 Jun 1995 22:03:22 +1000 (EST)
Subject: Sex Change operations

 Joel Grinberg writes:
 >Twice in the past all the emplyoees in my division were advised that
 >some individuals have gone through a sex-change operation, and will
 >be coming back as "women".  Employees were ordered to treat these
 >individuals normally and courteously.
 >I wonder what Judaism's attitude is on the matter. This kind of thing is
 >most abhorrent to me, and I believe that I would have difficulty in
 >working with such persons. How much respect am I obligated to show
 >to these individuals?

The issue of sex change operations may be more complicated than you
might think. The gemorra in numerous places discusses, besides men and
women, two other "types" a tumtum and an androgenous [one with
characteristics of both and one with neither].

But today we never hear of these, at least in Western society. I asked a
doctor about it once, and he said (and I have had this confirmed by a
number of sources), that the reason for this is that if it happens
today, the doctors operate immediately, making the child one or the
other, which ever happens to be the easiest, usually without telling the
parents. Apparently it is not *actually* that uncommon. Also hormones
can be given to push the child one way or the other, either immediately
or later.

So, a person who has a sex change may, in fact, not actually have ever
been male or female under the Jewish definition to begin with.

Whether a tumtum or an androgenous that had been surgically altered once
to be male or female may then go and as an adult have himself altered to
go the other way, I don't know (should the doctors have operated in the
first place?). But the issue may not be as simple as it first appears.



From: Seth Ness <ness@...>
Date: Thu, 8 Jun 1995 02:13:37 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Statues of People

what are the halachic issues in having statues of people? for instance,
figurines of dancing chassidim. Are there heterim?

Seth L. Ness                         Ness Gadol Hayah Sham


End of Volume 19 Issue 98